Saturday, August 31, 2013

Five happy things

1. I'll start with the biggie. I got a new job! Or, more specifically, I got a promotion. It all happened so fast my head is spinning...the day after we returned to town with our new car (the same day we had a long talk about adoption and finances)...the very next day, I found out about this job opportunity. I applied immediately, got an interview the next week, and was offered the job this past Monday. Crazy! I have to keep pinching myself because it seems so surreal. And the timing...the extra money will definitely be a nice boost to our adoption fund!

About the's prompted a lot of interesting reflections. Like: this is the first time probably since my wedding that I've heard "congratulations" so many times. Now of course deep deep down I'd like to hear that word for a different reason...but it's still pretty nice and very affirming! And: we have a friend who applied for a job the same week but didn't get it. I was very sensitive to how I told him my news...catching the parallel? =) Being on the receiving end of pg announcements has taught me a thing or too!

And probably the strangest effect of the new job...for the first time in a long, looooong time, I've thought, "It's okay that we don't have kids right now. I'm pretty excited about what's ahead." Don't get me wrong: the desire for motherhood has not gone away! But having a new, exciting opportunity to sink my teeth into is taking a bit of the edge off the longing. And to be perfectly frank, this new job would not have happened if I would have gotten pregnant on my time schedule. Yes, I know that's assuming a lot, but the fact is that not becoming a mother when I wanted to meant that I could build up the experience and skills needed for this job...I still want to be a mom more than anything else, but I'm not un-grateful for my new job! (if that makes sense)

And one final funny story - it's been a bit of a whirlwind getting connected to all the new people I'll need to work with in my new position, and in a flurry of emails, I look at what I'm about to send to a new contact and read, "I'm looking forward to working with me." Whoops! Thank God I proofread that! I'm not that narcissistic, I promise =)

2. On to another happy football starts today. I'm happy about this mainly because it makes Mr. M happy =) We will be watching the ND game with our two little neighbor boys upstairs, who Mr. M is trying to indoctrinate into being ND fans. He bought them hats and everything...and he bought me this:

Notre Dame Fighting Irish Women's Tied Dress
notre dame dress with leprechaun
It needs some leggings before I wear it in public...but it's comfy, and if it makes Mr. M happy, well that's pretty easy!

3. Last weekend when our priest friend visited (the priest who married us), he said mass in our living room! That was really cool. 

Our living room set up to say mass. The pitcher is full of water, which we got blessed.
After mass, Father blessed our home. He forgot his aspergillium (the stick with the ball top that's used to bless things) so I pulled a small evergreen branch off a tree outside. That worked quite well!

4. Our garden is cranking out the tomatoes! My favorite: cherry tomatoes. 

We're also getting a lot of Romas, basil, and zinnias. I love summer gardens. 
5.  Last happy thing: three day weekend!!!! I needed this so badly after such an intense - in a good way! - work week. Besides the Notre Dame game, we're having a cook out with friends and my parents on Sunday, and then have nothing planned for Monday. Just the way I like it =)

Saturday, August 24, 2013

What I've been up to

A few updates, in no particular order.

  • Mr. M was diagnosed with a concussion from his car accident. We found this out from a neurology doctor this past Monday, although we had suspected it before that due to his continuing headaches and a few dizzy spells. The neurology doc prescribed steroids, to help with the inflammation in his head and neck. He can also keep taking pain killers. This has become a longer trial than we initially anticipated, and it's been tough on both of us. Of course tough on Mr. M, dealing with headaches, dizzy spells, and now side effects from the steroids (insomnia is the main one); tough on me to see him in pain. (And honestly, I'm learning a lot about how much I need to grow in selflessness and compassion! In putting Mr. M first, putting his needs first.)
  • In other medical news, Mr. M is also doing 9 hours of physical therapy for his neck. And he went to the ER on Wednesday because of sharp head pain. That was scary...I left work to meet him there (he got a ride with a friend). Head pain freaks me out. You never know what's going to happen, and we're talking about your brain! Thankfully, the doctor said he definitely does not have brain bleeding or something really serious - the pain he had was just par for the course after a concussion, and the steroids should help. 
  • CD1 has come and gone. (On CD5 now.) No surprise at all there. For the record, it's hard to conceive in a cycle when your husband has a car accident on peak day! (in case anyone was wondering) And really, this cycle overall was a total bust. It was my first cycle with tamoxifen and the only change I saw was increasing my post-peak phase from 11 (last two cycles) to 13 (although I've had 13-day luteal phases before). I also flunked with CM - it was pitiful, except for the car accident day, ha! I did take B6 for the first time, but it wasn't consistent because I didn't get the right kind (sustained release) until day 10 or so. So this next cycle will be a "real" B6 cycle plus tamoxifen. And hopefully we won't have any life threatening incidents on peak day this time =)
  • In better news...I have a job opportunity that is very exciting. It's basically a step-up in my current office. I had an interview on Thursday and might hear back this week...that's all I can say for now.
  • In other good news...we found out - out of the blue - that Mr. M is going to get paid for a class he's teaching this fall. We weren't sure if he would because it's a class set up to give the PhD students teaching experience. (He's going to teach non-degree adults about the theology of the body.) But he will get paid! And a generous sum at that! Going into the adoption fund...!!
  • We've watched a bunch of movies this week when both of us have been too exhausted to do anything else in the evenings. I recommend: The Impossible (about the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami...hard to watch some scenes, but epic and inspiring), Life of Pi (helps if you read the book first, but still really good), Mega Mind (cartoon with Will Ferrell - pretty funny). I don't recommend that new Oz movie. The dialogue was laaaaame and the plot was really predictable.
  • I've also been doing some canning. Our garden is exploding with tomatoes! So far I've made salsa and dried cherry tomatoes, and today I'm going to can whole tomatoes. I also made peach jam and pesto. I need to share some pictures of these! =)
SUCH a beautiful day outside here! Thank you God, for a completely unstructured weekend! We have a priest friend visiting us (the priest who married us) but he's gone all day today for a baptism. Tomorrow he's going to say mass at our house (cool, huh?) and give me spiritual direction and other than that we have nowhere to go...bliss...

Have a great weekend, everyone!


Thursday, August 15, 2013

When Sunday mass is hard

One of the more unfortunate things I've learned from this struggle with infertility is that Sunday mass is hard! As in, probably one of the more difficult hours of my week. Every week. With very few exceptions.

Don't get me wrong - I love mass. I'm a Catholic convert, and I fell in love with Jesus all over again at the mass. Maybe because I came into the Church as an adult, but I never experienced mass as a chore or drudgery, but always as a high point of my week.

But when I think about it, it's not all that surprising that it's been easily over a year of crying - or trying not to cry - or just generally feeling awash with sadness - at Sunday mass. I can think of two main reasons:

1. The mass we usually attend (and frankly, most masses I've attended) has babies, children, pregnant women, in abundance. (Okay, maybe not that many, but enough!) Babies are hard for me right now, for obvious reasons. Spending an hour in a room with lots of them is not my cup of tea.
2. Mass is when I feel the closest to Jesus, when I pour out my heart to him, tell him how I'm doing. Right now that always includes telling him, for the millionth time, how much I want to be a mother and how hard everything is. I guess I'm a emotional pray-er, because these prayers generally make me want to cry.

And there are some other reasons too: the readings or homily might touch on something close to my heart (like one of the barren women in Scripture) or something really challenging for me right now ("ask and you will receive"). Or there are prayers for pregnant women or mothers (I've never heard any prayer for people struggling to conceive). Or there is specific praise for mothers (I don't begrudge them that - good job, mothers! - but yes, it's hard to hear).

And to top if off, after I've spent an hour trying to be calm around all the babies, talk to Jesus without crying, and absorb/deflect the readings or words that go straight to my heart, then it's social time after mass with our friends, most of whom have young children or are pregnant. When I'd rather just slink away and have a good self-pity cry. More often than not, I cry on the way home from church and spend part of the afternoon in a funk.

So what to do? It's not like I can stop going to Sunday mass. And not like I want to - although it really, really pains my heart to think of other women who might stop going for exactly the reasons I listed above. I get that! It pains me to think of them missing out on the sacraments!

Here are some things that have helped me, somewhat:
  • Custody of the eyes: Lately, I've been making myself literally close my eyes during mass (at appropriate moments), especially during communion, because otherwise my gaze will wonder and rest on this pregnant woman, and this baby, and this big family, and I'll be distracted and feel sorry for myself. It might sound over-simple, but shutting my eyes, and maybe just saying, "Jesus, I trust in you" seems to help. After all, it's not like mass is for people-watching anyway.
  • Focus really hard on the words of the mass. This is hard in general, I guess, but it also seems to help. Especially because so many of the words are about suffering, sacrifice, and love. I try to really absorb them, say them in my head with feeling, as an effort to unite my sufferings with Christ's.
  • Don't force feelings. This one is interesting, I think. I noticed that I felt guilty for feeling sad at mass - as if mass is where we all smile and leave our cares at the door and congratulate each other in our okay-ness. As if we all have to prove how wonderful and joyful the Christian life is. Well, that life involves the cross. Not so happy (deep-down, yes, but still a cross). I've gained some peace realizing that it's okay to feel devastated at mass, to feel sorrowful, to weep even (not that I've done that - but I've wanted to!). Mass is for all us broken people who don't have it all together, who are sorrowful and hurting. I don't force myself to have a happy face on during mass anymore. I just let things be, and let Jesus love me.
And I'm out of ideas...other than sometimes, I just need to go to a different mass. I love our parish, but especially the social time afterwards can be overwhelming. It's kind of a relief when we travel and go to a mass where people don't know us, and when we can leave right after.

Hearing words of comfort about the struggle of infertility...oh, just one time in a million masses maybe...would be nice too. (It's not like barrenness isn't in the Bible!)

Maybe I'll reach a point where Sunday mass isn't so hard. Right now it is. So that's that.


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A four-year "plan," or, Cold and Hard Reality

On the six hour drive home from Mr. M's hometown, where we had gone to buy his grandpa's car after ours was totaled, we got to talking about the future and what our current thoughts were about adoption in particular. We both had been feeling very drawn to it, so I wanted Mr. M's input on the practicalities. In particular, when? When to start actually proceeding toward adoption instead of just thinking about it?

Ah, ignorance is bliss.

My oh-so-clear-headed husband reminded me of several things.

1. He's in a PhD program right now and only gets a small stipend.
2. We're living completely off my paycheck, which is great because it frees up his stipend for savings, most of which are currently going toward paying off student debt.
3. We have more student debt to pay off, to the tune of several thousand dollars. (Not huge compared to others' debt, I know, but still something.)
4. The most reasonable scenario re: his PhD work is that he'll finish his dissertation in December 2014. (That's next December - it takes a long time to write a book!) He hopes to defend in Spring 2015 while he's looking for a job. Then, when we're both working and so have two incomes, we can save for an adoption. Hopefully between living frugally and asking friends and family for help (we've already agreed we're open to that), we could have the money ready in a year.


now - Dec. 2014: write dissertation; pay down student loans
Jan - May 2015: defend dissertation; apply for jobs; possibly move elsewhere in the country
Sept 2015-Sept 2016: both work; save money; ask for financial help and start adoption process
Sept 2016-Sept 2017: proceed with adoption; hopefully adopt

So yeah. That's four years from now until when it seems reasonable to expect to adopt. That's if he can find a job right away, which is a big "if" these days.

(Caveat: yes, I know what happens when we make plans...God laughs. That's why I put "plan" in quotes. Plan, schplan. Either of us could die tomorrow. As we abundantly learned this past week. Or - please God please God please God - I could get pregnant right now...well, not right right now, but you know what I mean! But soon. And our whole adoption plan could take a big unexpected - ha ha - turn.)

But conceivably (ha ha - sorry, feeling loopy from an extra-stressful week) the plan above is Cold, Hard Reality. That's what it means to be married to a PhD student, to not be independently wealthy, to have student loans, to not want to be eyeballs deep in debt forever, and to not expect to win the lottery. (Although that would help.)

Discouraging. To say the least. Yes, I cried in the car when Mr. M laid that all out. Thank God he is an optimist - "it's only four years!" - because four years to me sounds like an absolute eternity. Our friends' first kids will be in kindergarten by then! How many pregnancy announcements is four years? Let's see...20 a year (an estimate)...times four...80. That's an army of babies.

I don't know. That's where we are. It makes me want a drink. Or two. Or eight.

Maybe someone else who has adopted sees something huge we're missing - but waiting seems to be the name of the game. And waiting isn't all bad. It can be purifying, I guess.

Maybe things will look brighter tomorrow, after things are settled down from this whole car drama. Right now it looks kinda bleak.

Jesus, I trust in you.


Monday, August 12, 2013

a letter to the taxi cab driver who totaled our car

Dear driver of a green taxi cab,

Hello. I don't really know you, and I doubt I'll ever meet you, which might be a good thing right now. I think I'd have a hard time being calm if we were in the same room. Nothing personal, but I'm sure you remember that car accident a week ago. The one where you suddenly changed lanes on a three-lane highway and crashed into my husband's car, sending him careening into another car in the right lane and then back into your taxi cab. I saw the impact marks on our car, where the hood was completely busted in, and the green streak where you made first impact. It was pretty ugly.

I know you'll never read this, and you probably will never even know that the driver of the car you hit had a wife (and who knows about the driver of the third car; does she have kids? a sick grandma?), but you've made our past week pretty rough. My husband is still feeling poorly. The ER said his back and neck looked fine, but the pain hasn't gone away and he's worried he might have a concussion, or something worse. It's really hard seeing someone you love in pain. Plus, it's hard to all of a sudden be the only person who's really up to doing chores, cooking, driving, really anything. I'm proud of my husband for following through with all the insurance stuff, but it's been hard on both of us having him out of commission.

My husband's a PhD student. (He's pretty smart!) And for the first time, he's going to teach a class this Fall. Actually, the class starts at the end of August. But instead of preparing for it as he planned, he's been sleeping, aching, calling insurance reps, and going to doctor's appointments. That kinda stinks. And he's probably not going to get reimbursed for his lost time (so a lawyer friend told us) because even though he gets a stipend, he's not employed. We're going to fight it though.

Also, I was supposed to go to the beach this weekend. I know in the grand scheme of things that doesn't matter a lot, but still. I haven't been to the beach all year, and I had a weekend planned with some college friends I hadn't seen in a while. But instead of spending time with them and relaxing, I drove with my husband to his hometown (a 6 hour drive; I drove both ways) so we could buy his grandpa's car. It was nice to see family, but it wasn't the beach.

This week, I have a day off midweek. It doesn't happen a lot. I work for a Catholic institution, and we actually get off for the Assumption! I was looking forward to spending a relaxing day at home, maybe canning salsa, going for a run, catching up with friends, being leisurely. But instead, I'll be driving my husband to a doctor's appointment, and then going with him to register our new car. Not really the way I wanted to spend my day off.

I'm trying not to be bitter. I really am. But let's be honest - you could have killed my husband. It's a miracle that he's alive, given the speeds you all were driving and the heavy rush-hour traffic. I'm grateful he wasn't more injured, that's for sure, but it would have been nice for him to not go through a near-death experience!

All in all, I really wonder what you were thinking. Did you just not see him? Not check your mirrors at all? Think you could squeeze in a tiny little space? So many drivers do that - zip around like they're playing a videogame or something. Were you in a rush? I don't think your passenger wanted to get to her destination that badly!

Did you think you were the only driver on the whole road? Did you forget that real live human beings drive cars too, that it's not all just a game to see who can get there fastest?

All I ask is, if you get your license back any time soon - and sorry to sound retributive, but I hope your taxi cab career is over, and that you're not on the road for a long, long time - can you do everyone a favor and drive safely?



Saturday, August 10, 2013

Does infertility get easier or harder?

Harder: every failed month is one more month without a child, one more month of barrenness, one more month of disappointment. The sorrow seems cumulative some days.

Easier: I'm not so caught off guard by "trigger" situations as I was earlier. I know Sunday mass is going to be hard. I know certain parties will be hard. I'm not caught unawares by the palpable heartache of being the only barren one in a sea of babies (for example).

Harder: I'm sick of doctor visits, blood draws, tests, heck, I'm sick of charting! I'm tired of having to do something "extra" to get pregnant.

Easier: I don't obsess anymore about every little fertility sign or every little symptom in the two week wait. I give myself the freedom to not chart if I need a break, and I don't feel guilty about it.

Harder: The number of people who have gotten pregnant after we've started trying, plus those who have gotten married and gotten pregnant after we've started trying, seems to increase monthly. That's one more person who reminds me of my childlessness.

Easier: I've met some amazing people, both IRL and through the blogs, who are carrying this same cross. Getting to know such faith-filled, inspiring women has been incredible! And it helps so much to know that I'm not alone.

Harder: When I meet another person who's struggling with infertility, I know in my bones what they're going through, and I ache for them. Once I ran into a friend in the waiting room of my doctor's office. His wife was being seen; they had been trying for longer than we had. I cried for them the entire drive home, knowing first-hand what they must be going through.

Easier: Therapy has really helped me cope with anger, realize it's okay to feel sad, learn to "feel the feeling" when they come instead of push them away. I hope these skills will help make me a better mother someday, or at least a better person!

Harder: The biological clock keeps ticking, and I'm not getting any younger here...

Easier: If I take an honest look at myself, I can see spiritual growth that's happened as a direct result of this experience. A lot of that is due to my spiritual director and good spiritual reading like "Interior Freedom." Some I guess is due to just crying out to God on my knees, coming to Him more dependent and needy than ever before, and radically recognizing my need for His grace. These are real fruits, I know.

Harder: My friends' kids are getting older and forming bonds and we're left out of the joy of seeing our kids play together and sharing in the ups and downs of motherhood.

Easier: I have more compassion towards other people who are suffering, especially those who desire a good that is being withheld (marriage, children, health, etc.). I notice people more who are "on the fringe," and I feel for them.


Thursday, August 8, 2013

"Have you been praying for mortifications lately?"

That's what a friend asked me on the phone Wednesday night, mainly in jest but partly seriously., actually I haven't. I thought I had enough mortifications for now, thanks.

She was calling to see how we were doing, because my husband was in a car accident on Tuesday afternoon. Not kidding. First and most importantly, he is okay - thank you, guardian angels!! Second and less importantly but still somewhat important, our car is toast. Totaled. Out of commission. I didn't see it until Wednesday afternoon when we went to get our belongings out of it from the lot it had been towed to. The hood was punched in on both sides, the bumper was in the back seat, three out of the four tires must have blown because they were replaced with short, it's something of a miracle that my husband wasn't seriously injured. He ended up perpendicular to oncoming traffic, thank you Jesus that the driver behind him stopped in time...thank you, Jesus.

I feel like my heart is still pounding. You know those moments when you realize that your life could have changed, all in an instant, and you didn't even see it coming? And then you look around and realize afresh how fragile everything is?

We went in to the ER later Tuesday night just to make sure everything was okay. They ran an x-ray and a CT scan on Mr. M's neck and back, and thankfully everything checked out fine. We got home right before midnight after getting the prescription for major pain killers from the pharmacy.

I took off work yesterday to be with my husband and help him get the paperwork started to get the medical bills covered, get a check to buy a new car, etc. Having never had a car totaled before, it's been a big learning curve to figure out how to call and what to expect.

We do have a lead on a new (to us) car: it's owned by Mr. M's grandpa, the same one I wrote about here. The Italian grandpa. He owns a big boat-like Buick that only has 30,000 miles and is in pristine condition because he basically just sits in the garage. He's been refusing to sell for a while...I can understand, it's his last grip on independence...but he can't drive anymore, really. We may be driving the rental car 6 hours to get the Buick this weekend - if grandpa can find the title! And if we can get the insurance check in time, and if if if if if. All details, I know - thank God my husband is okay - but ugh, details. Bureaucracy. Car shopping. All such a headache.

So yeah, mortifications. Could I get some good news every once in a while? Is that too much to ask? (Seriously though, I'm so grateful Mr. M is okay. I just have to pinch myself how close he was to a much, much worse outcome...)


p.s. why yes, actually, the car accident did happen at an inconvenient time in my cycle...and nothing kills the mood like a near-death experience, neck and head pain, talking with insurance agents, and spending hours in the ER...I swear sometimes it seems the entire universe is opposed to the idea of us conceiving! whew. just had to get that one off my chest.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Thoughts on "children are a gift" from an IF perspective

Just some thoughts that have crossed my mind recently...not sure how coherent this will be...

You know how people often describe children as a "gift"? Vatican II (Gaudium et Spes) says that children are "the supreme gift of marriage." (no. 50, I do believe)

Being brutally honest here...sometimes I get a little sick of hearing how much a "gift" children are...because we feel quite deprived of that gift! Hearing about the gift of everyone else's children is a big ol' temptation for me to feel sorry for us...and "children are such a gift" starts to sound very Hallmarky and saccharine, sometimes forced, like it's what people are supposed to say even if they're fed up with their kids...

Then I realized something. When I heard the phrase "children are a gift," I was thinking it meant that children are delightful, good, wonderful blessings that we receive to make us happy. Kind of like gifts in a first world Christmas: a gift is something under the Christmas tree, usually exactly what you wanted, that makes you happy.

The Christmas gift analogy was interesting to me, because it occurred to me that when I think of Christmas gifts, I tend to think of them in terms of entitlement. I give my parents (now my husband) my list of gifts I want, and maybe I won't get all of them, but I'll get at least a few. I'll get something on Christmas morning! I can't imagine Christmas without gifts under the tree. We call Christmas gifts "gifts," but really, we expect them. There's no question that we'll get a gift at Christmas...

But what about this: what if "gift" is something so much deeper than something that makes us happy, something that we feel more or less entitled to. Because there really is something wholly gratuitous in the very nature of the concept of gift.  A gift is, by definition, something that we don't deserve, something that is given freely and not because of anything we did to "earn" it, something that comes entirely from the generosity of the giver.

Like our lives, for example. Life is a gift, pure and simple. That's not a Hallmark card statement - it's a fact. I didn't do anything to "deserve" existing...I simply opened my eyes one morning, and I was. I receive my being completely from our generous God.

So back to the child...yes, of course children are (in general) wonderful and cuddly and all that good stuff. They are a great addition to your life, they're funny, and so forth. All good things! But to describe them as "gift" says so much more. It says that they aren't owed to anyone, that no one "deserves" a child, and (most radically) that maybe you won't receive one. (More to the point, maybe I won't receive one.) They're not prizes for acing some human being test or something, after all. They are completely gratuitous, created for their own sakes (as every human person is) and entrusted to their parents because God's generosity is completely unfathomable. I can't think of any better attitude a parent can have toward their children than one of gratitude. To be entrusted with another human being...not because of any merits of your own but simply because...well who knows why? it's a mystery...and yet here he/she

I guess what I'm trying to say is that IF is teaching me new depths to the phrase "children are a gift." I really hope that if we are ever blessed with a child, my reaction is not like my own first world reaction to Christmas gifts - I'm grateful, yes, but also expect the gifts and would be rather put out if I didn't get any; of course I'll get a gift at Christmas - but instead like a little child in some far off country who doesn't know whether she'll get a toy at Christmas...and when she wakes up Christmas morning and sees a simple, handmade little doll sitting there smiling a little button smile, her heart bursts with gratitude and wonder and the most pure childlike joy at the miracle in her hands, not taking a moment of it for granted, knowing in her heart the full depths of gift. Thank you...thank you...thank didn't have to be and yet it is...thank you.


Friday, August 2, 2013

so many decisions! and another great quote from Fr. Philippe

As we start to explore the possibility of adoption, it occurred to me that when conceiving children doesn't come quickly and easily, there are SO many decisions to be made! I mean, when a husband and wife do what husbands and wives do (which generally doesn't take much planning!) and conceive a child, their script is given to them: love this child, no matter what, and be father and mother to him/her. There's a real freedom in that, knowing what you're called to do and then just doing it.

But when children don't come...then there are so many questions. Which moral medical treatment do we pursue? Do we pursue any treatment at all? (since it's not obligatory, of course) Which doctor do I see? How much are we willing to pay? What about adoption? What kind of adoption - domestic, international, foster care? Are we willing to adopt a child of a different race or who has special needs? (When you conceive a child, you take what God gives you!)

And what if we're not called to adoption? We still want our marriage to be fruitful...and we don't have unlimited funds to adopt and do some other demanding work of service. Should we do mission work? Focus on our careers and how they can improve the world? Be available to friends and family who need us? Not having children does give you more time and possibly more should we use it?

Of course I'm over-simplifying a bit when it comes to conceiving and raising a child. I know there are many questions associated with that: What kind of birth? To vaccinate or not? How to educate? and so forth. But still, when you get pregnant, you're a mother. And God-willing when the baby is born, you know your job is to take care of that child. That's the very concrete way that your call to be fruitful is lived out. For us, it's so much more open-ended! And that's kind of daunting. I'd rather have less choices, really! Just tell me what to do, God, and let me get to it.

With that in mind, this passage from "Interior Freedom" stood out to me:

"When uncertain about God's will, it is very important that we tell ourselves, 'Even if there are aspects of God's will that escape me, there are always others that I know for sure and can invest in without any risk, knowing that this investment always pays dividends.' These certainties include fulfilling the duties of our state in life and practicing the essential points of every Christian vocation. There is a defect here that needs to be recognized and avoided: finding ourselves in darkness about God's will on an important question - a large-scale vocational choice or some other serious decision - we spend so much time searching and doubting or getting discouraged, that we neglect things that are God's will for us every day, like being faithful to prayer, maintaining trust in God, loving the people around us here and now. Lacking answers about the future, we should prepare to receive them by living today to the full." (my emphasis)

I feel like I can take a deep breath after reading this: God will guide us, just live this day in trust, loving God and others and doing what He's already asked me to do (loving my husband and my friends, doing my job well, creating a happy home, etc.)